Saturday, January 1, 2011

Majority of Cincinnati City Council members have lost their minds

New budget cuts nothing; spends reserves; and adds $300,000 in funding for the Freedom Center
Rubber Room
Hopelessly irrational and politically self-serving,
City Council has reached a new low of fiscal insanity

Apparently unable to learn the lessons of fiscal irresponsibility that the world-wide financial meltdown has brought, Cincinnati City Council taken our fair City ever closer to Chapter 9 bankruptcy last night with a series of 5-4 votes.  The Enquirer Editorial Board called the decisions a "recipe for disaster."

For six months or more,Cincinnati City Council has known that it had a $60 million deficit for 2011 (read: spending lots more than they had in income).  The solutions proposed were various combinations of a massive earnings tax increase (by Cecil Thomas), a garbage tax (by Mayor Mallory), or laying off up to 360 municipal workers, including 275 police and firefighters (by Mayor Mallory).

Rather than work to structurally balance the budget and put the City on solid footing going forward, they elected instead to borrow from their own emergency reserves, self-insured health insurance pool, and workers compensation fund, and to count on budget gimmicks that will not pan out.  All this leaves an even deeper deficit for 2012, virtually guaranteeing that a massive tax hike will appear on the ballot that year.

To add insult to injury of Cincinnati taxpayers, a Council majority voted to give the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center an additional $300,000 in capital funding, on top of the more than $65 million in public funding it has already received. COAST has exposed the waste and lies from the Freedom Center  here. Most notably, the Freedom Center promised that once the initial government funds were provided for construction, it would not seek or accept more taxpayer funds for capital or operation needs.  It repeatedly has broken that promise.

The five Council members who voted for this fiscal insanity are:
Roxanne Qualls,  (513) 352-3604
Laure Quinlivan, (513) 352-5303
Cecil Thomas,     (513) 352-3499
Charlie Winburn  (513) 352-5354
Wendell Young,   (513) 352-3466

The Cincinnati Enquirer has an excellent editorial about the depth of irresponsibility undertaken by this Council.

These terrible budget decisions are made, of course, in the context of an unresolved $800 million deficit in the City pension fund and a new $143 million the City has committed to the 3-mile trolley line from the Freedom Center to Corryville. 

COAST is asking its readers to call and write these five council members to express disappointment in their terribly poor decisions made by those entrusted with a fiduciary obligation to the taxpayers and residents of this City.  We are not overstating it when we say that the citizenry has every right to be freightened by this dramatic turn toward fiscal irresponsibility taken by our Council.


  1. Bankruptcy is comingJanuary 1, 2011 at 10:31 PM

    COAST needs to reconsider its past support for Charlie Winburn. It's one thing to have some disagreements, but voting for this awful budget, then giving $300,000 to The Pepper Freedom Center, shows that Winburn seems to have little understanding of responsible budgeting.

    Needless to say, COAST needs to continue not supporting Mallory, Thomas, Quinlivin, Qualls, and Young. They have to be 5 of the dumbest and most destructive politicians in the area. How does anyone look at this budget and not understand that it's a complete disaster?

  2. David Pepper and Greg HartmannJanuary 2, 2011 at 10:34 PM

    We wish the city would have raised property taxes, just like we did at the County level.

  3. Let's boot the freedom center and then get Don Pablo's to move from across the river into the Freedom Center.


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